A Pair That Obtains God's Victory – Surrender And Trust
By A. E. Reinschmidt
In every spiritual crisis we experience, surrender and trust play the major and final part. Let us begin with the crisis of one's personal salvation. Nearly all that anyone – no matter his station – is required to do to be saved, is comprehended in surrender and trust. Surrender includes repentance, turning from sin.
We have observed quite a number of seekers after salvation, who struggled for weeks to no avail. But when they ceased their struggle, surrendered to the Lord and trusted Him, they found peace immediately. There is no other way.
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass" (Psa. 37:5). Surrender and trust is man's part; the rest is God's. Surrender and trust rightly relates one to God so that He can perform whatever He has promised to them that ask of Him (John 15:16).
Again, suppose a child of God has the desire to be "filled with the Spirit." This is something God has both promised and commanded (Luke 11:13; Eph. 5:18). The Holy Spirit is a gift. "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life (the Spirit) freely" (Rev. 22:17). It is written, "That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Gal. 3:14).
But for all this, there are many people who struggle to get the Holy Spirit, struggle harder than they ever struggled in their lives before. If any one of God's gifts could be more free than His other gifts, it is the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a reproach it is against the "God of all grace," when anyone tries to manhandle the Lord and take by force His "free gift"! All that is needed – if one is right with the Lord and his brethren – is to ask, surrender and trust, and the Holy Spirit will be freely given.
It often happens that one who has been filled with the Holy Spirit becomes empty and dry again. Usually it will be found that this is the result of not being constant in the practice of surrender and trust. If this be the case, it stands to reason that to recover the lost blessing, one only needs to get back on the line of surrender and trust. By no means should anyone regard the loss of the fullness of the Spirit as the normal thing, and spend the rest of his life in barrenness, living on the memory of what he enjoyed long ago but does not possess today.
Healing by Faith
Surrender and trust is man's part in spiritual healing also. In the early days of my ministry, I began to waste away with TB. As I began to realize that I had little to hope for from medicine, I asked the Lord to show me the truth: does God heal today?
The Holy Spirit whispered to me one night as I sat inquiring of the Lord "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8). This word brought conviction: the conviction that it was God's will that I should be healed and serve Him.
Immediately I was shown what my part in the matter was to be. I began to go alone with God. I was guided by the Holy Spirit to yield myself up completely, spirit, soul and body, to the Lord, and trust Him to heal me. I affirmed aloud my faith in Him. I told myself and others, over and over, "God is healing me." Almost at once I began to sense a warmth in my cold, lifeless body; a divine electricity going all through me. Gradually I was healed. Since then, it has always been easy to trust for healing when there was a conviction that I should do so.
Walking in the Spirit by Faith
Every step in the life and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), is by the grace of God operating through the simple means of surrender and trust. As the life in the Spirit begins by simple surrender and trust, so it must continue in the same way. Our life and walk should not become complicated, but ever more simple and plain.
In every area of our life and walk, the simple means of surrender and trust (all things being equal) will enable us to "obtain mercy, and find grace to help in [every] time of need" (Heb. 4:16). In the time of trouble – of trial – of temptation – of tribulation – there is nothing that will open one's whole life to the incoming of the Spirit of grace like going aside with the Lord to give one's self up to a season of surrender and trust.
This is what the Old Testament calls waiting on the Lord (Psa. 27:14; Isa. 40:31; 41:1). There could be no better way than this to find the Lord in the first place; and no better way to live and walk in Him. In this way we can avoid those long, dark tunnels in which we sometimes find ourselves. Our path will be "as shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18). By this simple means of waiting on God, everything we need to know about our life and walk will be brought to our attention by the Spirit and the Word.
It is a simple thing we have to do indeed, but our right to do it cost the Lord an infinite price! Because of the price He paid, His grace is as nigh to every one of us as the air we breathe – to assist us to come to Him and trusting His grace.
And not only may we "have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:28), but we may become channels to convey His grace to others for whom we will pray. As we are enabled to surrender and humble ourselves through the grace of God that is in Christ, so others may be enabled to come down by His grace flowing through us, as we pray for them. There is a place in the life of grace where one may believe and receive for others. We may take the place of Christ to others; and not only pray for them, but surrender on their behalf; believe on their behalf; and receive on their behalf.
"He shall ask, and [God] shall give him life for them that sin not unto death" (1 John 5:16). "The spirit of grace" flows through them that live and walk in an attitude of grace toward others. The grace of God cannot flow through a hard, self-righteous, legalistic spirit. Therefore, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath given you" (Eph. 4:32). The verse before this says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice." And the verse before this one says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
Victory Over Self by Faith
The entrance of sin into the world was when the self in Lucifer conceived the wicked thought of elevating himself into the place of the most High (Isa. 14:12-14). Sin and trouble began on the earth when the first pair elevated self into God's place in their hearts (Gen. 3:1-13). When man's self clashed with the Creator, it began to clash with other selves, always the wrong against the right. Cain clashed with Abel, because Cain's deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous (1 John 3:12).
In our life and walk in the Spirit, the nature of the fallen ego or self must be ever borne in mind. It is the nature of self to seek the first place – God's place – in our hearts and lives. As our life in the Spirit can only begin with self-humbling – surrender and trust – it can only continue by that same means. It is to believers that the command is given: "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God" (1 Pet. 5:6). It is always self that must be humbled; and we ourselves – not God – must do the humbling. The need of self-humbling is always with us because the self is always with us, ready to seize the first place if we are off guard at any time.
Self is the root of all sin. Failure to recognize the presence of the self in us and the hostility of self to the things of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14), is largely responsible for our lack of self-discipline or self-control: a "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22). The notion that salvation by grace makes "self-control" unnecessary – even a denial of grace – is a delusion and a snare. The continued practice of surrender and trust at every step of the way is the true way of self-discipline or "self-control."
No matter what our theory of sanctification may be, all of us have times when we are tempted by such things as impatience, disappointment, discouragement, resentment, dislike of those who offend us, complaining, fault-finding, criticism, etc. These things and many others are from self. They are all sinful. They are all contrary to the Word of God and to the nature of His Spirit. Must Christians be overcome by such things when they are tempted through self? No! Though self can suggest many evil things, it cannot overcome one unless one gives consent and renders assistance to self in its effort to gain the place of dominance in the life.
The reason for this is that the power of Christ's Cross has rendered "our old man" powerless to hold us in bondage to sin (Rom. 6:6). Here is a seeming contradiction, but it is only seeming: "Our old man is crucified with Christ," yet we have a part in his crucifixion (Rom. 6:1-11; Gal. 5:24). We must "put off the old man with his deeds," and "put on the new man" (Col. 3:9-10). Christ nullified "the old man's" power to hold us in bondage to sin if we want to be free.
Truly Sanctified by Faith
The unregenerate person is wholly dominated by self. There is no opposition to self. The regenerate person, however, has a continuous conflict going on within – between the flesh (the self) and the Holy Spirit. Such a person must always be engaged in a fight with himself (Gal. 5:17).
The sanctified person, though, is one in whom Christ is enthroned as Lord. And because He is Lord, He can fill with the Holy Spirit the one whom He controls. In the sanctified, self is abased. Self is not "suppressed" by man, but is subjugated by the Holy Spirit. "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body (self), ye shall live" (Rom. 8:13). It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit that self shall remain in subjection to Himself, and there is a way to keep him there. That way is surrender and trust.
Self likes to be up, not down. It was so with Lucifer, an holy angel. It was so with the first man, a sinless being. Should it offend us to be told that even after we are sanctified, the self will be watching for a chance to get up again? But self, in the sanctified, cannot get up from "under the mighty hand of God" – without one's consent and assistance.
Let us illustrate: Self can talk, even when he is down. And he is watching his chance to put a word in our ear – even if we are sanctified! Disappointment for instance, comes to the holiest of men. Self always seizes upon this chance to talk to us. He will remind us of our many disappointments, and cause us to think, and think and think, about them. If we listen to him a while, our thoughts will change to feelings, and feelings of disappointment will turn into discouragement. This will lead to action of some kind, and it will all be wrong action.
This is the work of self, and it is sin if we entertain it. The thing to do when we hear a whisper from self, is to turn anew to the Lord. Do not stop to "fight self," but yield up to the Lord and trust. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass" (Psa. 37:5). He will keep self in his proper place. When a man turns to the Lord with his whole heart and mind, he denies and rejects self in the real sense. This is the way of self-discipline: self, controlled by the Spirit. Every trait of self can be mastered in this way.